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Guest Post & Book Feature - The Case of the Bygone Brother by Diane Burton


A Woman in a Man’s World by Diane Burton

When I was growing up, my mother determined there were girls’ chores and boys’ chores. My two sisters and I remember well how ours never ended—all the household chores plus planting and weeding the large vegetable garden. Our four brothers also worked in the garden plus cut the grass on our two-plus acre lot. No riding lawnmowers in those days. They also worked on the cars. Somehow, their big (time-wise) jobs were supposed to equal ours. Never did. My mom’s attitude was typical of the time. Because of what I perceived as inequity in my childhood, I was determined my children rotated chores. My son loaded/emptied the dishwasher and my daughter cut the grass.

Like many women my age, I’m a product of the women’s movement. While I didn’t burn my bra, I heartily supported equal rights. I taught my daughter that she could be/do anything she wanted, that her career options weren’t limited to being a teacher, nurse, secretary, or phone operator—my choices after high school.

Despite the years of advancement in equal rights for women, there are inequities with regard to pay and acceptance in certain fields. The old boys’ network is still in play, especially in certain occupations. Like private investigation, as the main character in my Alex O’Hara novels can tell you. She shortened her name Alexandra to Alex so she wouldn’t immediately be dismissed because she’s a woman.

Alex is a combination of all the female detectives I’ve read. She’s more Stephanie Plum than Jessica Fletcher with a little Nora Charles thrown in. I hope you enjoy Alex’s adventures.

About the Book:
The Case of the Bygone Brother (An Alex O'Hara Novel)
by Diane Burton
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | Smashwords
Genre: Humorous Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 29, 2014
Length: 281 Pages

Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.


Excerpt:
“Hello, gorgeous.”

I whacked my head on the display shelf. 

Well, what would you do if you were lying across the top of a four-drawer lateral file cabinet, and your arm—yardstick attached—was wedged between the wall and the cabinet, trying to retrieve the license renewal application that if you mangled, crushed or couldn’t get would mean the end of your business, and the ex-love-of-your-life stood in the doorway looking at your butt?

The shelf shook on its braces from contact with my head. Never mind that the encounter didn’t do much for the aforementioned body part. The Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce awards rattled, and signed Detroit Tigers baseballs pelted my head, shoulders, and the back of my thigh. I dropped the yardstick and swore.

“I thought you promised your mother you wouldn’t swear anymore.” He would remind me of that vow.

“Relapse,” I muttered as I looked over my shoulder.

In that loose-limbed, cocky manner I once thought scary, sexy, and so cool, Nick Palzetti stood in the doorway to the spare office. He even dressed the same in a black leather jacket, black knit shirt, and jeans that molded his hips. Lordy, he could still make my mouth go dry.

As I wiggled back and sideways across the long cabinet, I felt my skirt ride up. Of all days to wear a skirt. With my foot, I searched for the desk chair I’d climbed to get on top of the cabinet. I’d kicked off my high heels before standing on the chair, probably the only smart thing I’d done so far.

“Red panties, you naughty girl.”

About the Author:
I grew up in the Detroit-area and have lived in Portage (MI), Sedalia (MO) as well as a brief stint in Chicago-land.  I've been a Parks & Recreation supervisor, an inventory clerk for a flute store, and a long-time volunteer for Girl Scouts. My last job was for an oil and gas exploration company where I discovered the cure for insomnia—reading oil and gas leases.  My longest-running gig was as a teacher where I taught elementary kids for over 10 years.  I am a member of Romance Writers of America and the Mid-Michigan and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapters of RWA. I met my own hero on a blind date. It was love at first sight--for me. It took him a little longer. We currently reside in West Michigan and have two grown children and three delightful grandchildren.

I’ve been a reader all my life, and I love movies, especially action adventure, mysteries, science fiction, and romantic comedy. Castle, Firefly, and NCIS are my favorite TV shows. So is it any wonder that I write science fiction romance and romantic suspense, both with comedic elements?

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Comments

  1. Hi again, Allison. Thanks for having me back on your blog.

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    1. Any time, Diane! It's a pleasure to have you.

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    1. Same here, Rohn. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Hi, Diane & Allison!

    What a fab excerpt. I can't wait to read this book. Off to check it out asap. I agree that it's important to teach our kids equality. One sticking point with me is opening doors. I taught my boys to always open doors and pull out chairs. Other than that, it's all equal. :)

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    1. Thanks, Monique. I love to see my son opening the door for his wife. It such a nice gesture. Hubs opens doors for me, too,so I guess Son learned by example.

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  4. An added benefit to equality is having men in what would traditionally be considered a woman's job. For instance, I work now as a lunch lady, but I also taught English back in the day. At the school I'm at, I love to see male teachers. I think it's important for children to see men in these roles. In the 13 years I've been at my school we've had one male teacher, and he left after a few years to take a principal's position. I also headed up the children's liturgy program at our church and although I actively recruited men, the teachers were still 99% females. Kids need to see their fathers talk about their faith more often. I'm happy to see fathers taking a more active role in raising their children these days. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm anxious to see how Alex handles herself as a detective!

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    1. You're right, MJ, about positive images for children. During my last hospital visit (yuck), I had male nurses. I love that nurturing men can find jobs that have been traditionally women's.

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  5. We only had girls in my house so we did all the chores. I never learned that there were different chores for different genders.... I think that we do learn from our parents and in some cases we learn what we don't want to do. :) Many sales on your book series!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. Yep, I learned a lot of things I didn't want to repeat, but I also learned good values.

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  6. I, too, survived the Sixties and Women's Lib to emerge a real feminist...still working on that! The excerpt makes me smile--love humor in my mysteries. Best wishes.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. I love humor, too. (Obviously.) It sure breaks up the intensity and gives the reader a break.

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  7. Good for you for teaching your daughter that she shouldn't be limited by her gender. I remember the guidance counselor in school telling me to be a secretary. (So much for encouraging me to break free from stereotypes! And I was a pretty decent student!) My mom was the one who told me to shoot for the stars. Go, moms out there. :-) I really enjoyed Alex's adventures in this story. Great excerpt too, Diane. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Leah. What I'm finding interesting is how my son and son-in-law have taken on childcare, esp. when the kids were babies. I'm so glad to see their nurturing side.

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  8. I am one of 6 daughters. Our mother told us that the sky was the limit.

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    1. Good for your mom, Mary, and good for you.

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  9. I LOVE Alex's adventures so far. Can't wait for the sequel!

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    1. Thanks, Alicia. The sequel is almost ready--for editing.

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